Corzine On Obama’s Appointments: They’re People Who Are ‘Pragmatists With A Progressive Agenda’

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"Corzine On Obama’s Appointments: They’re People Who Are ‘Pragmatists With A Progressive Agenda’"

Politico reports that Barack Obama’s personnel selections are causing some consternation amongst progressives: “Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.”

Attempting to diffuse the nervousness, Obama’s top campaign field operative Steve Hildebrand pens a response in the Huffington Post, warning that now is “not a time for the left wing” to be drawing conclusions. (Hildebrand’s argument has stirred reactions from many bloggers.)

This morning, ThinkProgress spoke with Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), who was reportedly under consideration for a cabinet post. We asked Gov. Corzine if he had any concerns that Obama’s choices were not progressive enough:

I think President-elect Obama has done an outstanding job of picking very good people who have the ability to be pragmatists with a progressive agenda. […]

It would be hard to not say that there is an attention to a progressive agenda. But there is a recognition that governing means that you have constraints and resource constraints that have to be attended to as you go forward.

I’m a committed liberal. I’m a committed progressive myself, but I also understand that has to be balanced with what you have the capacity to do at a given point in time. And I think that’s all that’s reflected in the appointments. I think he’s selected extraordinary people.

Corzine pointed to Bill Richardson and John Podesta as evidence of progressives who surround Obama.


During the interview, Corzine offered this advice for Obama as he considers an economic stimulus package: “The only thing that I have been arguing is, whatever big is, make it bigger.”


,Also during the interview, Corzine argued that if we had the same sense of urgency that we do with the financial institutions, we could provide “access to affordable health care.”



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